State Senate District 34
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Liz Mathis (Winner)
What are the most important challenges facing our state and how do you propose to address them?
What will you do to support an equitable and vibrant economy in our state?
What reforms will you pursue to address social and racial inequality in our state?
What will you do over the long term to ensure healthcare access for all?
What measures do you support to improve and secure elections and voting in our state?
1) Health care is one of the most important challenges facing our state. People are concerned about affordable health care coverage and prescriptions, mental and behavioral health access to services and COVID - the spread, precautions in our businesses and schools and hospitalizations. 2) Employment and business health. Since March thousands have been unemployed and jobs have disappeared, while some businesses are financially struggling due to loss of customers and product demand. We must work on unique recovery efforts for both the employee and the employer. 3) Education during COVID - how do we help students keep up their learning and how do we support schools/teachers who are charged with that responsibility.
Create legislation that supports business growth innovation (both urban and rural), solid hiring practices, creative training and a community commitment. We must work with businesses to provide the best educational/technical training for workers to be ready for jobs now and in the future. We also need to make certain that we uplift diversity recruiting and continue to address human resources practices that strive for inclusion. Options for affordable and accessible child care and housing are two issues that must be solved in order to achieve our goals for economic health.
My focus over the last few years has been in health care. I have worked to address the social determinants of health - the systemic factors that make health care unequal, unaffordable or inaccessible to People of Color or who struggle financially. For example, how is a child's health and educational development affected when a child is "couch surfing" during the school year? How do we use the tools we have to support that family; help find affordable housing and then sustain permanent housing for the child over many years, not just a few weeks or months? Another focus will be extending the work we did in the last legislative session around racial injustice in the criminal justice system.
We need to address health care worker shortages and expertise in high-need professions along with raising wages, funding tuition reimbursement plans and fairly reimbursing our hospitals/providers for services. We can also support tele-health so it is equitable for the provider and accessible to the patient, expand mental health mobile crisis work that is effective and cost-efficient, work with the Department of Human Services to find financial over-lap and funding opportunities in the Medicaid system. I helped create a children's mental health system that is addressing access/service for critical and on-going issues. These are all piecemeal ideas; executive branch leadership is needed around a state health care blueprint.
We need to encourage people to vote and dispel rumors and innuendo (from the highest office) that suggest there are problems with our voting system. Our county auditors work hard to make sure everyone who is eligible and wants to vote, can vote. The county officials put technical checks and balances in place that ensure that our vote is counted. We should support accessible and convenient polling sites, voter registration drives and absentee balloting, I presented a bill twice that would automatically register every 18-year-old in the state to vote and I will most likely present it again in the upcoming session.
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